As you begin to think about what your own CDI department may look like, you will need to define your departmental mission. It can be useful to meet with managers of other revenue cycle departments to ensure a clear understanding of their roles within the organization. This will allow the CDI mission and workflow to complement other revenue cycle efforts and may enlist the support of these other departments.
The scope of CDI continues to expand as organizations identify documentation gaps that affect organizational processes, so the CDI manager is often expected to use his or her staff to address these issues. Examine what you hope to accomplish by initiating this effort. Make sure you clearly understand how the organization will measure its success, so you can determine how the CDI department can contribute to that effort. Ask the following questions:
- Is the emphasis incremental revenue?
- Is the goal to improve the profile of your facility regarding metrics that can represent the quality of care such as severity of illness (SOI) and risk of mortality (ROM)?
- Is it truly to improve the quality of your providers’ overall documentation without regard to reimbursement or other factors?
The definition of success will vary based on the desires of your organization, but, as the manager, you must know your mission to guide your department towards its goal. The mission affects staffing, workflow, metrics, and other elements of the program that you need to consider.
Editor’s Note: This excerpt comes from the recently published book, The Complete Guide to CDI Management, by Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP, Stephanie Hawley, RN, BSN, ACM, and Anny Pang Yuen, RHIA, CCS, CCDS, CDIP.